Monday, August 15, 2016

Top 10 Werewolves in Magic: The Gathering

To anyone who read my top 10 faeries post, the same rules apply here: this list is for creature cards only. Also, this does not include Wolf-types, otherwise half the list wouldn't even be werewolf cards. I love my red/green werewolves, so here is a selection of my very favorite and most practical in the game.

I feel I always need to add the following statement, due to the anger and fury of the vocal online nerd community, but this list is entirely my opinion. If you disagree with me, that's fine. Just try not to burst a blood vessel over it, it's not like I'm trying to take your guns or welfare checks from you.

Immerwolf, Moonmist, Full Moon's Rise, and several others are not included here for reasons already stated, but I still felt they needed to be specifically mentioned.

10. Wolfbitten Captive

Low cost creatures are always going to be the most important part of a tribal deck. And ones that can easily turn much bigger are obviously worth even more. Wolfbitten Captive is one that never gets ridiculous, but the ease in which it can double in size makes it very easy to use, regardless of the kind of deck you're using it in. Also, being the only green human werewolf that costs 1 mana helps balance things out with red on the low mana spectrum.

9. Village Messenger

Sometimes being able to throw something out and attack on the first turn is the best way to start, and being one of the only werewolvew in the game with haste, that gives this card a distinct advantage at the beginning of the game. And when flipping, becoming a 2/2 with menace makes it great for the first turn, and potentially unblockable on its second turn. No it's not huge and can't be made to be too intimidating, but the quick damage this guy can deal early on makes it a very useful asset.

8. Geier Reach Bandit

3 mana for a 3/2 with haste isn't half bad. But you pair that with a flip ability that makes every werewolf you play come in as their larger form, and you've got a potential game changer. Sadly, this guy comes with a huge target on his back, and winds up being very difficult to flip, but that's because it is so powerful. With this guy comes the ability to make the new werewolf eldrazi cards incredibly effective (Kessig Prowler, for instance, costs 1 mana and instantly becomes a 4/4 thanks to this card's effect). But the circumstances to make this card truly great are a little difficult to pull off sometimes, which is why it's only 8th on this list.

7. Gatstaf Shepherd

This one isn't one of the flashier cards, but in a practical game, he makes for one of the most effective attackers you can have on the board. An issue that comes along with a lot of the werewolf cards out there is that you don't want to risk losing them and though this card isn't one you're likely to want to toss away, you don't have to worry about being stingy with attacking or blocking with it. Becoming a 3/3 that's potentially unblockable certainly helps make him stand out.

6. Duskwatch Recruiter

Despite the low mana cost of this critter, what makes this card great is when utilized later in the game when there's mana to spare. With a very "blue" scry-like ability, this card doesn't need to flip to be useful late in the game, but is incredibly helpful when flipped early in the game as well. Helping sift through your deck for creatures, making them cheaper to play, and being strong enough to be used as an attacker or defender, there's no time during the game where this card isn't going to be of great use.

5. Instigator Gang

At 4 mana, this is one of the most expensive werewolf cards I could ever recommend for practical deck use. This isn't a surprise attack creature, but can still be usefully thrown into play before combat, without ever needing to attack at all. Granted, it would take 6 mana to lay this guy out and cast a Moonmist for an effective all-out assault in one turn, but in a green and red deck, that could easily happen by turn 4 or 5. Giving your attacking creatures +3/+0 makes this one of the most aggressive werewolves in the game, and can win you the game in a real hurry -- at least it has for me.

4. Huntmaster of the Fells

Sometimes it's not the crazy attackers that make for the most effective werewolves, but the ones that can help build your defenses across the board. This is one of those cards. One of the only werewolves that activates an ability when flipped back into its human form, this card gives you wolf tokens, gains you life, and can even help snipe some of your opponent's creatures, making this one of the most diverse werewolves in the game. Sure, it costs 4 mana and requires both red and green mana, but that has never stopped this card from helping you win. This card has saved me more times than any other card in my werewolf deck.

3. Kruin Outlaw

Yet another super powerful asset to a strategic werewolf attack, Kruin Outlaw doesn't quite attract as much attention from your opponent's as Instigator Gang would, but is just as effective and comes with the advantage of first and double strike and a lower mana cost. By making your werewolves less likely to be ganged up on during your attacks, with Full Moon's Rise in play or any other kind of trample effects in play, it becomes easy to kill off your opponent's creatures or just end the whole thing altogether in one attack.

2. Reckless Waif

One of the most simple and effective werewolf cards for any red deck, werewolf or not. One mana for a 1/1 that can turn into a 3/2 with relative ease. It's not hard to find a use for this card, as it is incredibly simple and very powerful. The lack of circumstance required to make this card useful is a definite appeal, and though Village Messenger is close to the same, that extra 1 power sets this one apart. Also, sentimentality comes into play here, as it was the first werewolf card I ever got. And I still keep 4 of them in my deck.

1. Mayor of Avabruck

I hear a lot of people complain about this card for being too big of a target, to which I reply: "well duh". Of course this card draws a lot of attention from your opponents, it's one of the most terrifying things that you can play early in the game, and for only 2 mana, it doesn't even set you back at all if they burn a spell to try and kill it. Making all of your werewolves (and regular wolves) bigger whether you're attacking or not is never not going to be helpful, especially not early on in the game when you need that extra little push to keep your creatures alive. Pair that with his final form ability which lets you add a wolf token to your side of the field at the end of the turn, helying with our defenses even more. This card paired with Immerwolf is an insanely powerful combo, and not something that's hard to make happen at all by turn 3. Yes he's a target, but when every creature you have has a target on its back, wouldn't you rather have one of your mow effective be one that can be played for cheap and will be helpful at any point in the game? He's one of my favorite Lord cards, and is part of one of my favorite tribes. So I guess as someone who almost exclusively plays tribal decks, that makes it one of my favorite cards in the entire game.

So that's all I've got for you now. Enjoy the rest of your day, night, or if you never read this blog again, life.

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